Panasonic introduces the S5II full-frame camera, the successor to the S5 released more than two years ago. The new camera has phase detection autofocus as the main innovation. There will also be an S5IIX camera later, which will offer even more in terms of video.
The S5II combines phase-detection AF with the usual contrast-detection AF system. The implementation of the latter is called depth-from-defocus at Panasonic. It generally worked very well and quickly in photography situations with little fast movement, but when shooting video and shooting fast-moving objects and subjects, this system lagged somewhat. As far as tracking is concerned, phase detection is usually a bit smoother and more accurate. Most camera manufacturers combine the two systems and Panasonic is now doing the same for the first time with the S5II.
Both models get a 24.2-megapixel sensor with 779 phase-detection autofocus points. The cameras can shoot at a rate of 7 frames per second with the mechanical shutter or 30 frames per second when using the electronic shutter. According to Panasonic, the new cameras have improved integrated image stabilization. In combination with lenses that also have built-in stabilization, this should make handheld shooting possible without disturbing shocks disturbing the image.
The S5II is mainly aimed at video makers. The camera can shoot images in 4k60, although that is with an APS-C crop. In addition, recordings in 6k are possible, using a 3:2 aspect ratio. There are no more time limits as with the original S5. To this end, a fan has been built into the part where the electronic viewfinder is located in the new model. This viewfinder has an increased resolution of 3.6 million pixels, a full HDMI connection and a joystick on the back that can be used in more directions.
The S5IIIX only differs from the S5II in terms of video, with the X model offering even more video options. This includes support for video output in the raw file format and internal ProRes recordings. This model also has the option to record videos on an SSD via USB. The S5IIX also has more compression modes. This S5IIX will cost 2499 euros and will appear in the spring, while the S5II will have a suggested retail price of 2199 euros and will be available at the end of this month. S5II owners can also purchase the raw output for 200 euros as an update.